Saturday, March 28, 2015

10.28 Cooking - Granola

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-eighth day of each month is "Cooking."
NGS's rules for granola:
1) Crunchy, not chewy
2) Fruit should be fresh, not dried
3) Should take less time to make than an episode of the Family Feud
So, my granola recipe is simple and fairly standard. It makes enough for me to eat one-half a cup every day. I recently read on an online forum in which people thought that half a cup was an unheard of amount of granola, but I assure you that I eat it every day with some Greek yogurt and fresh fruit and suffer no ill effects.

7 cups oats
1 cup shredded coconut (I get Bob's Red Mill unsweetened; I've used sweetened when I couldn't find unsweetened at my grocery store)
1 cup flax meal or wheat germ (or half of one and half of the other - in an attempt to make our kitchen as gluten-free as possible, I've switched to using Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal - the actual flaxseed would get stuck in my teeth and gums, so the meal works best for me)
1/2 cup nuts (I generally use walnuts, but almonds or whatever you have on hand would work)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I have attempted honey as a sweetener and didn't enjoy it as much)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons maple extract
1/2 cup oil (I usually use canola or vegetable oil, but I've used olive oil, too)
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 325 - 350 (I do 325 here, but in Winona my oven ran cooler, so I used 350).  
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients one at a time, stirring after each addition.  Evenly spread mixture into a jelly roll pan.  Cook in oven for 45 minutes, stirring ingredients every 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave mixture in the oven until oats are completely dry. 

Generally I make this right before bed and just leave the pan in the oven until the morning.
Apparently some people like to add dried fruit at this point (cranberries, apricots, bananas, etc.), but I cannot with dried fruit competing with fresh fruit during my breakfast, so I opt out of that. You should add the dried fruit AFTER the cooking process.
Voila!  Instant deliciousness for your snacks.
To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

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